Quick Tip: Keep a Vinegar Produce Wash by the Sink

The good folks down at Cook’s Illustrated have found that washing veggies and fruit with a diluted mix of 3 parts water to 1 part good, old-fashioned white vinegar and then rinsing with water is 98% effective in removing bacteria from foods. It is important to wash even organic produce that may be affected by salmonella.

Here is a handy tip to make this wash procedure routine: Fill a spray bottle with the vinegar-water solution and keep it by the sink. Before you eat an apple or scrub a potato, just spritz it with the vinegar solution. I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now, and it’s become almost second nature. The final rinse washes away any residual vinegar flavor while ensuring that you’re really washing your food.

Of course, when it comes to food that must be submerged in water to wash it, like broccoli and lettuce, the process is a bit more onerous. But everything can’t be easy, can it?

There are other things you can do with that handy vinegar-filled spritz bottle in your kitchen. Spray down countertops and the sink to clean and deoderize them in a food-safe way. Vinegar is great for getting grease and grime off refrigerators and stovetops. Get rid of germs on trashcans and compost bins. And the bonus is that you can avoid using caustic chemical-filled cleaners is the place where you prepare your food. (Here’s 1001 more tips for using white vinegar around the house.)

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4 thoughts on “Quick Tip: Keep a Vinegar Produce Wash by the Sink

  1. jolynna 11 October 2007 at 9:45 pm

    I really like how you’ve redone your site. It looks great!

    I had no idea white vinegar got rid of 98% of bacteria. That is amazing.

  2. Cleaning Lady 5 December 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Nice and usefull post, thanks, this is one for my bookmarks!

  3. Kathryn 11 April 2011 at 9:15 pm

    hey mama, do you think this is safe for sanitizing baby’s things that can’t be boil/steam sterilized. Thinking especially of the cloth mesh food sacks that munchkin makes and my baby loves. I’m more concerned that any traces of vinegar remaining on the mesh cloth might be poisonous/ hazardous to baby’s insides than the rate of bacteria killed. thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Shannon 12 April 2011 at 8:42 am

    I wouldn’t rely on it for sanitizing things for a baby, although I don’t think a little bit of vinegar would do anyone harm either. Vinegar is not poisonous and we eat it all the time in recipes.

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